Channel 4 FactCheck goes behind the spin to dig out the truth and separate political fact from fiction.

September 17, 2014 No Comments By Patrick Worrall

A rash of news stories in recent weeks suggest panicked investors are pulling their money out of Scotland.

Uncertainty over tomorrow’s independence referendum has wiped billions off the value of Scottish businesses, we have been told.

Other reports have suggested that potential buyers are dithering over house purchases, and that investors and pension savers have been shifting assets out of Scotland.

Has there been significant “capital flight” from Scotland – or is this another example of what First Minister Alex Salmond has called “increasingly desperate and absurd scare stories”?

The analysis

On 8 September a YouGov poll put the yes camp in the lead for the first time. Several newspapers reported that billions were wiped off the value of Scottish businesses as a result.

But share prices go up and down all the time. They can plummet one day and bounce back the next. Is there a long-term trend of investors selling their assets in Scotland’s biggest businesses?

In a word : no, according to two experts who have tracked the performance of Scottish firms since the 1950s.

Professor Paul Marsh from London Business School and Scott Evans from Walbrook Economics have produced what they call the Scotsie 100 – an index of the 100 companies traded in London but headquartered  in Scotland.

The five biggest are: Scottish and Southern Energy, Standard Life, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aberdeen Asset Management and Weir Group.

What has happened to the value of the Scotsie 100 companies compared to stocks in the rest of the UK in September? (more…)

Category: Economy, FactCheck
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September 16, 2014 2 Comments By Patrick Worrall

The Scottish government says it’s protected Scotland’s NHS from Tory cuts. FactCheck gives the yes campaign’s claims a check-up.

Category: David Cameron, Ed Balls, Ed Miliband, Fact, FactCheck, Fiction, George Osborne, Housing, NHS
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Are you voting in Scotland on Thursday? Then read this – 10 things you need to know about the referendum vote (but may have been scared to ask).

Category: FactCheck, Scotland
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September 10, 2014 11 Comments By Patrick Worrall

The no campaign has been at great pains to say that a vote to break up the United Kingdom would be irreversible. Is that actually true?

Category: Scotland
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September 4, 2014 21 Comments By Patrick Worrall

Health is one of the key battlegrounds as the independence referendum looks. Will the Scottish NHS be better off in or out of the UK?

Category: FactCheck, Scotland
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September 1, 2014 18 Comments By Patrick Worrall

Doctors treating Ashya King have defended their decision not to send the five-year-old for proton beam therapy.

Category: FactCheck, Health, NHS
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August 29, 2014 6 Comments By Patrick Worrall

David Cameron has announced new legislation to stop terror suspects travelling abroad. But can’t we already confiscate their passports?

Category: Conservatives, David Cameron, FactCheck
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August 28, 2014 12 Comments By Patrick Worrall

How many child grooming gangs are operating on the streets of Britain? Who is most at risk? FactCheck finds out.

Category: FactCheck
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August 26, 2014 7 Comments By Patrick Worrall

The SNP says it wants to rid Scotland of Trident nuclear missiles. Will it be able to keep the promise if Scots vote for independence?

Category: FactCheck
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August 25, 2014 14 Comments By Patrick Worrall

It’s ding ding, round two in the Scottish independence debate. Will the leaders of the Yes and No camps fail the FactCheck test?

Category: Scotland
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